NOSTRADAMUS, ASTROLOGY AND THE BIBLE
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Quadrains de Nostradamus, Imprimez à Aix-en-Provence, 1525 
 Eenige Prophetien van Michiel Nostradamus Van 't jaer 1525, tot Ake in Proventie gedruckt - dewelcke nu in dese tijdt worden vervuldt
- T.W.M. van Berkel -

Nederlandse versie 
 

In the article The Almanach ende pronosticatie vanden Iare M.D.LXVI which is published on this website, a Dutch almanac is discussed which carries the name of Nostradamus but in fact is not written by him.
In the article you just opened, another publication is discussed which carries the name of Nostradamus but is not written by him. It is an undated pamphlet with four French quatrains and a translation in Dutch. According to the French and the Dutch title, these quatrains were written by Nostradamus and printed in 1525 in Aix-en Provence. According to the Dutch translation, these quatrains "are fulfilled in these days" (or.: in dese tijdt worden vervuldt), but the actual period of fulfilment is not given. At the bottom of this pamphlet, there is a remark which shows that it was published in The Hague by a certain I. Veli, a female bookseller, living in "De Poote".
A copy of this pamphlet is preserved in the Royal Library in The Hague, NL. 

 

The Pamphlet Quadrains de Nostradamus... / Eenige Prophetien van Michiel Nostradamus...

QUADRAINS
D
E
NOSTRADAMUS,
Imprimez à Aix en Provence, 1525

Eenige PROPHETIEN van
MICHIEL NOSTRADAMUS
van 't jaer 1525, tot Ake in Proventie gedruckt,
dewelcke nu in dese tijdt worden vervuldt.
 

Quand de Troné à St. Germain ira,
Prestre & Collogne auront Guerre Cruelle,
Une grand Dame Londres Couronnera,
Lis flêtrira par une grand Querelle.
Als een Ontthroonde naer St. Germain sal gaen,
En Priester tegen Keulen wreedt oorlogh hebben,
Dan sal tot Londen een groote Dame zijn Gekroont,
En de Lelie door grote twisten verslenst zijn.
Quand Fleur d'Orange a Londres fleurira,
La Fleur de Lis de Blanche viendra Noire,
Londres la grande sol lustre eclatera:
Mais le Crapau de cherra de sa gloire.
Als d'Orangie-bloem tot Londen sal bloeyen,
Dan sal de Witte Lelie Swart worden,
En de groote stadt Londen sijn glans blinken: 
Maar de Padden sullen van haere glorie vervallen.
Le Fils aine de Mere St. Eglise,
Le Pape & luy auront grand decruelle:
Mais le Lion luy mordra la chemise,
Jusqua ce point qu'il sera tout pêlé.
d'Outste Soon van de Heylige Moeder-kerck,
Den Paus en hy sullen groote twisten hebben:
Maar de Leeuw sal hem soo naer aan 't hemde komen,
Dat hy 'er heel kael van af sal komen.
Celuy qui la Principaute tiendra par grande Evanté,
à La fin verra grand phalange, pour coup de Feu tres dangereux.
Par Accord pourront faire mieux,
Autrement boira Suc d'Orange.
Die het Prinsdom met groote wreedtheit houdt,
Sal eyndelyk groot geraes sien, door seer periculeuse Vuyr-slagen.
Hy soude met Accoordt beter konnen doen,
Anders sal hy het Sop van Orangie moeten drincken.
 

In s'Gravenhage by I. Veli, Boekverkoopster in de Poote.

 

 

Pamphlets: general information
Most probably, the word pamphlet is borrowed from an anonymous love poem, entitled Pamphilus de amore, written in the twelfth century.
A pamphlet is a publication with an actual meaning, in which for example clerical or political events can be described. Some pamphlets contain government announcements concerning for example roads or sentences. Sometimes, pamphlets contain news about events in the society. Sometimes, they contain astrological predictions or stories about miracles. The contents of a pamphlet can also be polemic or satirical, whether or not by means of poetry. Sometimes, a pamphlet contains an illustration. 
The size of a pamphlet can vary from a sheet of paper to a brochure or even a booklet. Until the eighteenth century, pamphlets supplied the need for information and mobilization of opinion concerning politics. In the eighteenth century, their role was taken over by the newspapers.
In the Netherlands, a huge amount of pamphlets was spread in the seventeenth century. This was caused by e.g. the war with Cologne, England, France and Münster in 1672, which year in Dutch history is known as the Calamitous Year, and the events in the period 1689-1702, when the Dutch stadtholder William III, also known as Dutch William, became king of England until his decease in 1702.

 

Dating of Quadrains de Nostradamus...
Quadrains de Nostradamus... does not contain a year of issue. In the French and the Dutch title, it is mentioned that the quatrain texts were printed in 1525 in Aix-en-Provence. Nostradamus lived from 1503 to 1566. No publications by him, dating from 1525 or before, are known. 
According to the Dutch title, the quatrains are fulfilled "in these days", which can be interpreted as a reference to the year of issue and the events which took place around that time.
Pieter Ant Tiele (1834-1889), a leading Dutch bibliographer and librarian, mentioned the title, the size and the publisher of this pamphlet in volume III
of Bibliotheek van Nederlandsche Pamfletten, in chapter VIII (1689-1702), entitled Van het vertrek van Willem III naar Engeland, tot zijn dood (tr.: from William III's departure to England until his decease). Tiele's information about this pamphlet can be found in the first part of this chapter, which deals with the period January - May 1689.
Tiele did not argue why he linked this pamphlet to the period January - May 1689. In the study upon which this article is based, it has been verified to what period the events, described in Quadrains de Nostradamus..., can be linked. For this purpose, the Encarta® Encyclopedie basiseditie Winkler Prins 2002 and The Catholic Encyclopedia were consulted. 
The quatrains
in Quadrains de Nostradamus... contain numerous elements which deal with events in the days around the coronation of William III in London in February 1689. 

The first quatrain
In the first quatrain, the abdication in 1688 of the English king James II is described, his flee to France and the succession by Mary II Stuart.

The words de Troné in the first line deal with the abdication of James II as a result of William III's invasion in England in November 1688, which is known as the Glorious Revolution. The words St. Germain in this line deal with the flee of James II in December 1688 to France, where Louis XIV received him as England's legitimate king.
The words Prestre & Collogne in the second line can be linked to Pope Innocent XI (Prestre) and the diocese of Cologne (Collogne). In July 1688, Innocent XI and Louis XIV had a quarrel about who would become the new bishop in Cologne: Wilhelm Fürstenburg, bishop of Strasbourg and marionette of Louis XIV, or Joseph Clement, whose nomination was supported by all European leaders, except Louis XIV and James II. As the votes were equally divided and Innocent XI appointed Clement, Louis XIV occupied the papal territories in Avignon, arrested the papal Nuntius and wanted to provoke a schism. If the second line indeed is an allusion to this conflict, the Dutch translation, according to which a Priest is in war with Cologne, is not correct.
The third line (Une grand Dame Londres couronnera) can be linked to the succession of James II by Mary II Stuart and/or the coronation of Mary II Stuart on February 13, 1689, together with William III.

The second quatrain
The second quatrain refers to the coronation of William III in London on February 13, 1689, and its political consequences.
The words Fleur d'Orange in the first line deal with stadtholder William III, a descent of the house of Orange. The first line as a whole can also be an allusion to his future kingship, since Mary II Stuart already succeeded James II.

The third quatrain
In the third quatrain, conflicts between Louis XIV and Innocent XI are described as well as conflicts between Louis XIV and William III.
The words Le Fils aine de Mere St. Eglise in the first line can be linked to Louis XIV. In his time, the French catholic church was highly independent from the central catholic authorities in Rome; it was Louis XIV himself who appointed the bishops in France.
The second line contains an allusion to conflicts between Louis XIV and Innocent XI. This line might deal with the "regale war"; a conflict between Louis XIV and Innocent XI about who would receive the income of a diocese when there was a vacancy for a bishop, and who in such a period had the right to appoint. Perhaps, the second line is also an allusion to the conflict between Louis XIV and Innocent XI, mentioned in the first quatrain, about who in 1688 would become the bishop of Cologne.
The word Lyon in the fourth line most likely deals with William III, who was one of France's adversaries in the Nine Year War (1688-1697) and who had a conflict with Louis XIV because of the occupation of the principality of Orange.

The fourth quatrain
The fourth quatrain deals with Louis XIV's occupation of the principality of Orange in 1685. The end of this occupation, either willingly or unwillingly, is announced.
The words La Principaute in the first line deal with the principality of Orange. The first line as a whole deals with the occupation by Louis XIV in 1685. In 1689, he cleared the principality, but it was only in 1697 that he handed it over to William III. In this quatrain, Louis XIV is warned that he would better make peace, otherwise he would pay dearly (the words Suc d'Orange in the fourth line).

I. Veli, bookseller (f)
The events which are described in Quadrains de Nostradamus..., deal with the coronation of William III in 1689 and with events which preceded this. The addition "which are fulfilled in these days" in the Dutch title of Quadrains de Nostradamus... deals with these events, which means that this pamphlet has been published in the first months of 1689, as Tiele already assumed.
At the bottom of the pamphlet it reads that it was published in The Hague by I. Veli, a female bookseller, living in "de Poote". In 1663, according to
www.bibliopolis.nl, the website of the Royal Library in The Hague which deals with the history of the Dutch book, there was a bookseller in The Hague, named Johan Veely de jonge (tr.: Johan Veely jr.). This Veely had his office in "de Pooten". In the catalogue of the Royal Library, a publication is listed, dating from 1663, in which his name is mentioned as the publisher. 
Johan Veely de jonge, baptized in 1638, married in 1662 with Maria Groenesteyn. He had two children: Jan and Sophie. Johan Veely de jonge died in 1664. In 1667, his widow married again. If the name I. Veli, printed on the pamphlet, is the name of a woman, as suggested by the word boekverkoopster (tr.: female bookseller), this might mean that twenty years after the decease of her husband, the widow of Johan Veely de jonge still used his name as a company's name. The name I. Veli might also be the name of Jan, the son of Johan Veely de jonge[1] 

 

A threat, repeated more than one hundred years later...
One of the features of pamphlets is that they are written in relation with actual events. The extreme number of correspondences between the contents of Quadrains de Nostradamus... and the period November 1688 - February 1689 indicate that this pamphlet not only was published in 1689, but also that it was composed in that year, i.e. after the coronation on February 13, 1689, of William III. In other words: in the title of this pamphlet, the year in which the quatrains which it contains, are written and which falls within the lifetime of Nostradamus, is strongly antedated.
The contents of this pamphlet are in the shape of predictions, attributed to someone who in the seventeenth century had some reputation regarding predicting political events. This reputation has been used to enforce the message of this pamphlet. This message can be read in the fourth quatrain: the warning to Louis XIV in case he would not put the occupation of the principality of Orange to an end. The purpose of the description in the shape of predictions of events, prior to the coronation of stadtholder William III, might have been the enforcement of the warning prediction, directed to Louis XIV, by predictions which were fulfilled already.
In the correspondence I had at the beginning of the study of this pamphlet, Peter Lemesurier, chairman of the Nostradamus Research Group, stressed the fact that the French quatrains contained a rhyme scheme (a-b-a-b). This implies that originally, these quatrains are composed in French and next translated into Dutch. However, there are other questions, such as the question if these quatrains were composed in French by a Frenchman or a Dutchman, and the question if they were composed in France or in the Netherlands. At the moment, I have no information to answer these questions.
In January 2013, one of the readers of this article notified that "on all other sites" the last word of the first line of the fourth French 1525-quatrain was cruauté (cruelty) instead of Evanté (unvealed).[2] It turned out that he referred to the last word of the first line of Sixain V. My subsequent comparison between Sixain V and the French text of the fourth quatrain in Quadrains de Nostradamus... showed that the French text of the fourth quatrain in Quadrains de Nostradamus... almost completely can be traced back to the text of Sixain V, but it is not a word-by-word copy. In the fourth French quatrain of Quadrains de Nostradamus..., the first two lines of Sixain V are put together, like the third and fourth line of Sixain V. In the second line of the fourth French 1525-quatrain, the words A la in the third line of Sixain V return as à La. In other words: the second line of the fourth French 1525-quatrain does not begin with a capital letter and is therefore not in accordance to the style of the quatrains, in which in each line the first word begis with a capital letter.
In the fourth French 1525-quatrain, the words Feu (second line), Accord (third line) and Suc (fourth line) begin with a capital (something which returns in the Dutch text of this quatrain), but in the case of Sixain V, these words do not begin with a capital letter. The third line of the fourth French 1525-quatrain contains the verb form pourront, which is plural, whereas the fifth line of Sixain V contains the singular verb form pourroit, which returns in the Dutch text, to which the personal pronoun Hy (He) is added. Further, the second line of the fourth French 1525-quatrain contains the word pour, not the word Par which opens the fourth line of Sixain V, whereas the word door in the Dutch text is a translation of the word Par in the fourth line of Sixain V (in Dutch, pour would have to be translated into voor). Because of this, the presence of the word wreedtheit crualty, Sixain V: cruauté) is very remarkable, since this word is not a translation of Evanté. One wanders where the differences between the fourth French 1525-quatrain and Sixain V come from, since, in terms of meaning and grammar, the Dutch text corresponds with Sixain V, whereas in terms of printing (capital letters), there is a correspondence with the fourth French 1525-quatrain.[3]
Sixain V is one in a series of 58 six-line verses, attributed to Nostradamus, preserved by his grandson Vincent Sève, which for a number of years were added to the Centuries in a chapter, entitled Predictions admirables pour les ans courans en ce siecle -  Recueillies des Memoires de feu Michel Nostradamus [...] par Vincent Seve de Beaucaire en Languedoc, des le 19. Mars 1605. au Chasteau de Chantilly [...]. The last two lines of Sixain V don't look as a prophecy but as a warning, a threat, directed to someone who occupies a principality or who is planning to do so. The last line contains the words suc d'Orange. These words might be a word play (orange juice) but they can also refer to the Principality of Orange which from 1530 to 1559, due to the conflict between François I and Charles V, regularly was occupied by the French, in 1559 at the time of the Treaty of Chateau-Cambrésis was given back by Henry II to the House of Orange and which in 1562, at the time of the outbreak of the French Religious Wars, became a protestant stronghold which several times alternately was occupied by Huguenots and Catholics.[4] It appears to me that Sixain V has been directed against one of those occupations, either at hand or ongoing. It looks as if Sixain V dates from most early 1530. If this assumption is correct, the mentioning of the year 1525 as the year of print is untenable. In 1689, Sixain V was rewritten and directed towards the occupation by Louis XIV.

Sixain V (Troyes, 1611)

Fourth 1525-quatrain (FR)

Fourth 1525-quatrain (NL)

Celuy qui la Principauté
Tiendra par grande cruauté,
A la fin verra grande phalange:
Par coup de feu tres-dangereux,
Par accord pourroit faire mieux,
Autrement boira suc d'Orange.

Celuy qui la Principaute tiendra par grande Evanté,
à La fin verra grand phalange, pour coup de Feu tres dangereux.
Par Accord pourront faire mieux,
Autrement boira Suc d'Orange.

Die het Prinsdom met groote wreedtheit houdt,
Sal eyndelyk groot geraes sien, door seer periculeuse Vuyr-slagen.
Hy soude met Accoordt beter konnen doen,
Anders sal hy het Sop van Orangie moeten drincken.

 

Notes
The titles, places and year of issue of the mentioned authors are listed in the bibliography.

  1. Cf. De boekhandel te 's-Gravenhage tot het eind van de 18de eeuw, E.F. Kossman, The Hague, 1937, p. 425-426 (Van Delft [Royal Dutch Library, The Hague] to Van Berkel, January 14, 2007). [text]

  2. Tremblay to Van Berkel, January 16, 2013. [text]

  3. The word Evanté might be the result of a series of printer's errors, i.e. the capital letter Einstead of the letters cr in cruauté; the letter v instead of the first letter u in cruauté and the letter n instead of the second letter u in cruauté. [text]

  4. Encarta Winkler Prins encyclopedie 2007. 1530 was the year in which René de Chalon inherited the Principality and was allowed to entitle himself "prince of Orange". [text]

 

De Meern, September 12, 2006
T.W.M. van Berkel
updated on March 18, 2013

 

Expression of thanks; justification
The author of this article expresses his thanks to Jacques Halbronn D.Litt (Bibliotheca Astrologica, Paris), who in 2003 sent a copy of Quadrains de Nostradamus...

In April 2006, Mario Gregorio, a member of the Nostradamus Research Group and webmaster of a.o. the online-library Bibliotheque Nostradamus, was looking for information about the origins of this pamphlet. There was a brief correspondence between him, Peter Lemesurier and me. 

 
 

 
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